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Pursuit of Equality (2005) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • On a topic of such a large magnitude, we are taking careful measures to create a film that will be a catalyst for discussion and growth in the world when it comes to civil liberties and current day discrimination. Our journey began when Mayor Newsom asked us to film America's first same-sex marriage, and continued when we were granted behind the scenes access to film the "chamber tapes," the exclusive, unseen footage of Mayor Newsom and his senior staff during the most crucial of times. Always at the right place at the right time, we found ourselves with the couples, the families, the courts, Rosie O'Donnell's wedding to Kelli Carpenter, the protestors, and of course, the state Supreme Courts decision to invalidate the marriage licenses. With Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger delivering on his promise to veto legislation that would have given same-sex partners the right to marry, the need for people across the nation, and most importantly California, to see Pursuit of Equality is evident. We have spoken with leaders in the national and local government, as well as leaders in the LGBT community, and all agree that this film has the ability to open and educate the minds of those who do not understand the issue and the right for everyone to be treated equally. We are forever thankful to the numerous couples who invited us into their homes, and to the extraordinary City Hall staff for their cooperation in the making such of an eye-opening film. Thank you!. Geoff Callan and Mike Shaw Directors.

  • Pursuit of Equality is an emotionally charged film that puts a face on American citizens who strive for marriage equality. This documentary takes you on a 'behind the scenes' journey into the most controversial civil rights issue of our time. By issuing marriage licenses to same gender couples, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom uproots the status quo and attempts to change the way the nation looks at life, love, and marriage. Pursuit of Equality was filmed over 15 months - from the first same gender Marriage performed at City Hall through the thousands of marriages celebrated in San Francisco, to the protests and the Supreme Court orders that stopped the weddings and voided the marriages through to Superior Court Judge Kramer's landmark ruling that it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to same gender couples.

  • By issuing marriage licenses to same gender couples, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom uproots the status quo and attempts to change the way the nation looks at life, love, and marriage.


Spoilers

The synopsis below may give away important plot points.

Synopsis

  • In 2005, at the height of the culture wars of the new millennium, San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom brought worldwide attention to the issue of same-sex marriage. This film examines how the city briefly became the nexus of a new civil rights movement. Documentarians Geoff Callan and Mike Shaw take their cameras inside Newsom's offices to witness the decision-making that will be felt for years to come.

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